(Via Reuters) It was reported today that Rakuten Inc, Japan’s largest e-commerce company, will compete with fellow retailer Aeon in the low cost smartphone plan market, offering a basic data and call package for an average monthly cost of around 2,200 yen for a two year contract, (plus the cost of the phone) around 700 yen cheaper per month than Aeon’s own product. In contrast to this, Japan’s leading wireless carriers, NTT DoCoMo Inc, KDDI Corp’s au and SoftBank Corp charge around 6,500 yen a month. These new entries into the market could, if successful, open up a new pipeline for mobile developers into a market that has until recently been slow to grow.

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